Lamentations can be seen as an image of our experiences of hurt. We are suffering in ways that feel totally overwhelming and impossible, yet in looking at the experiences of others – especially those in Scripture – we can find examples of how others responded and felt in their moments of need.
Academia without personal impact is a hollow image of what Scriptural study is meant to look like. This week for our Deeper Look, we want to invite you to interact with certain passages of Lamentations on a more personal level. Take each section at your own pace – engaging with the text, and then engaging with how it gives you a deeper look into your own life. May this be as a revealing experience for you in your journey of faith as it has been in our lives here at Waypoint.
Addressing Our Own Brokenness.
There are times when we are broken, and nothing is going to change the fact, that right here, right now, things are not right.
“All her people groan
as they search for bread;
they trade their treasures for food
to revive their strength.
Look, O Lord, and see
how worthless I have become.”
-Lamentations 1:11 (NRSV)
What do we do when we are broken? Is admitting brokenness the same thing as admitting failure?
Losing Sight of Ourselves.
Sometimes brokenness can cause a person to lose sight of who they are, and who they could be.
“See, O Lord, how distressed I am;
my stomach churns,
my heart is wrung within me,
because I have been very rebellious.
In the street the sword bereaves;
in the house it is like death.”
- Lamentations 1:20 (NRSV)
Why do we feel so distressed by brokenness and mistakes in our lives? How can we recover a vision of who we were meant to be in life?
Silence can feel like inaction, but there are times when silence is the only option.
“The elders of daughter Zion
sit on the ground in silence;
they have thrown dust on their heads
and put on sackcloth;
the young girls of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.”
– Lamentations 2:10 (NRSV)
What other Scriptures are you reminded of when you engage with this passage? What sorts of emotions and memories does this evoke in your life?
A Cry for Justice.
When we are faced with deep sorrow and lament, sometimes our only response is to pour out our hearts in agony.
“Arise, cry out in the night,
at the beginning of the watches!
Pour out your heart like water
before the presence of the Lord!
Lift your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint for hunger
at the head of every street.”
Have you ever experienced a moment of lament that caused you to cry out in this way? If so, how did it feel to call out to God in that way? If not, when you have experienced deep sorrow, how did you respond?
“Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord.”
– Lamentations 3:40
What path are you walking on in life? Is the direction you are heading, the direction that that you want to be going in? How can you change your life to look more like Christ?
A cry for our Enemies.
“You have taken up my cause, O Lord,
you have redeemed my life.
You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
judge my cause.”
– Lamentations 3:58-59
Who would you identify as those who would be considered your enemies? Why do you view them in this way? Have you ever taken the time to pray for those who would seek to harm you? What do you think would happen if you took the time to genuinely and earnestly pray for them?
Keep digging deeper, and learning more about faith, the Scriptures, and discerning how you fit into this incredible plan.
Rev. Olivia Phillips